Good news from our shared planet

October 20, 2020

In this issue of Pulse, we bring you heartening news of a global commitment by many world leaders to restore nature in the coming decade. Also, read on for other stories of hope from around the world from efforts to safeguard our oceans and keep our rivers flowing freely to growing pressure for meaningful action to tackle the climate crisis.

World leaders commit to restore nature

October 19, 2020

Over 75 world leaders have supported the WWF-backed Leaders’ Pledge for Nature – a commitment to meaningful action to reverse nature loss in the coming decade by countries representing more than 1.3 billion people.

The pledge, which took place at last month’s WWF Leaders Event for Nature, came after global efforts by WWF together with hundreds of businesses and civil society organizations. This pledge could kickstart a decade of action that puts nature on the path to recovery and helps to guarantee the well-being of people for generations to come. And we will be urging heads of state to build on this at global decision-making summits on biodiversity and climate due to take place next year. You can help keep up the pressure by making your Voice for the Planet heard.

European Parliament votes for ambitious climate target

October 18, 2020

Pressure from WWF and others grows for urgent and ambitious climate action to prevent the catastrophic impacts of unchecked global warming.

We therefore welcome a recent vote by MEPs in the European Parliament for a strong EU target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Although the 60% reduction target they call for is far better than both the EU’s current target and proposals put forward by the EU Commission, the science tells us that we need to go further. WWF and other NGOs are calling for emissions reductions of at least 65% by 2030, as well as urging that targets are not softened by allowing them to be offset by natural carbon stores (carbon sinks) such as forests and soils. With EU member states still needing to agree on the issue, we will continue to lobby hard.

Good news for rivers in Africa and Europe

October 17, 2020

We are striving to create healthy rivers, lakes and wetlands for the benefit of people and wildlife around the world.

In Europe, campaigning from WWF and others has helped stop two environmentally destructive projects in eastern Europe – a hydropower dam on the free-flowing Vjosa river in Albania and flood prevention plans for Hajógyári Island in the Hungarian Danube. In Africa, we partnered with the Zambian government to launch HydroAtlas Zambia – aiming to provide key environmental data about the country’s rivers and their catchments to help improve water-use planning. And finally, we welcome the decision by a Ugandan parliamentary committee to reject government proposals for a hydropower dam in the Murchison Falls National Park – a top tourist destination that’s been designated as a wetland of international importance.

Hopeful signs in European seas

October 16, 2020

Efforts to restore oyster reefs in the waters around the Netherlands, which had been severely impacted by overfishing, disease and severe weather, have seen successful results.

Two years after 3D-printed reef structures and a starting population of oysters were introduced by WWF and partners, a new generation of oysters and other species have settled around these reefs – and we are asking for this kind of nature restoration work to be scaled up. Also, our calls for 30% of Scottish waters to be protected have been successful after the creation of Europe’s largest marine protected area. The deep waters are home to a rich variety of life, including sharks and coral gardens, and are spawning grounds for commercially important species. We continue to call for better management of marine protected areas globally to help safeguard and restore important habitats for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Building a sustainable future for Brazil

October 15, 2020

After years of campaigning by WWF and other civil society organizations, the Brazilian Central Bank (BCB) has announced new sustainability measures, including recognizing climate change as a financial risk.

The country’s financial institutions are now required to follow UN-backed guidelines on disclosing their exposure to climate risk by the end of 2022 – a great opportunity for them to contribute to the understanding of climate risks and to support the transition to sustainable agricultural production that no longer converts forests and other natural areas. The BCB, which became a member of the Network for Greening the Financial System earlier this year, has also improved its regulations so that financial institutions can increase lending to sustainable agricultural businesses. In another significant move aiming to protect Brazilian nature, a group of Brazilian financial institutions (Bradesco, Itaú and Santander) and businesses (Amazônia Possível) have announced new measures to safeguard the Amazon.

Calls for action

October 14, 2020

Around the world, WWF is seeking positive ways forward that help people and nature to thrive:

  • Our first ever Living Yangtze Report provides a landmark assessment of the health of China’s greatest river with eight research institutes. The report gives a detailed analysis, together with recommendations for action, of the health of different sections of the river, looking at water flow, water quality and the variety of life. 

  • WWF’s Fires, forests and the future report warns that 2020 could be a record year for wildfires, mainly driven by persistent hotter and drier weather due to climate change, land conversion for agriculture and poor forest management. We look at the causes, impacts and solutions.

  • A new report from WWF and others highlights how improved action on food systems can deliver 20% of the global greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed by 2050. While food systems currently account for up to 37% of emissions, actions such as reducing food loss and waste and shifting to sustainable diets are widely ignored by national climate plans. 

  • More than 800 civil society organizations, including WWF and a broad coalition of social, environmental, youth, gender equality and human rights groups, trade unions, local communities and indigenous peoples, have called on the UN Human Rights Council to recognize the right to a healthy environment. 

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